“Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.” Lewis Mumford puts it straight and direct in his The Brown Decades (1931), the paradoxical yet crystal clear truth about generation gap. We may heed over the fact how we feel about our parents for being so outdated and for judging us being in the shoes of their generation. In the meantime, we should not compromise to ponder over how our children and grandchildren will think about us; that will be no more different than our perception of our parents and grandparents. Indeed, we are in a vicious cycle often wondering how to adapt in a quickly changing world.
The ironic and witty statement from Fred Hoyle “When I was young, the old regarded me as an outrageous young fellow, and now that I’m old the young regard me as an outrageous old fellow” conveys to our conscience how difficult it is to be around people from different time frames. As a matter of fact, each generation sets its own trends and has its own cultural impacts which create problems for incoming generation to adapt to because of the changed ideology and changed circumstances around them. To know what kind of generation gap related scenarios the Nepalese youths are exposed to, the team of “Youth Opinion” invited students from different colleges in a discussion-opinion sharing program. Let’s look at what we have found out!
- How do you define Generation Gap?
- Any incidence that you were exposed to, which restricted you from doing what you loved, due to generation gap?
- Who, in your family, restricts you more on doing things which are common for this generation but a taboo for earlier ones?
- How are your parents adapting themselves to fit in your world?
- In which aspects, you think, the parents should be more accommodating?
Bagmati Modern College, Grade-11
In my view, generation gap is the difference between opinion and beliefs of parents and children. There is a huge gap between ideologies of parents and children. Also, there is a necessity to reduce that gap. Personally, I have faced several situations where I badly wanted my parents to be in my wings. For example, I love to play futsal with my friends during Saturdays, but my parents are reluctant to allow me for they are afraid I will make bad companions and indulge myself in illicit acts. To recall another incident, I had to work really hard to convince my parents to allow me to go on a one night stay at Nagarkot on college’s program. They consider so many things before allowing me to do anything.
In my household, mom is more strict and super-conscious about me. Also, Dad is strict but is not that pushy as mom. In evening, my mom wants me to get home to attend evening Puja and if I am not in time, I get scolded. Dad, on other hand, would not allow me to wear grunge pants and have long hairs. Doing so, he says, will make one look vigilante.
Often I have small discussions with my grandparents. We are Brahmins and our predecessors held strong beliefs on superstitions regarding caste system. Though I and my parents think we all are born equal and should treat each other equally, the traditional dogmas have brainwashed my grandparents thoughts so they still hold some of those principles. I sometimes get outraged by their beliefs, and I try to change them with what I have learnt, but they reluctantly hold on to them.
Our parents want us to be competitive with the world and at the same time they do try to upgrade themselves-which is a positive sign. My parents use facebook. As my dad lives in another town, it has kept the whole family connected. If I could use a magical wand to make my parents flexible in one aspect than it would be freedom to go out with friends.
New Summit College, Grade-11
The world around us makes us think and act accordingly. Our parents were brought up in a different world and we are growing up in a very dissimilar world; each of these worlds mould us into what we are. Our parents were moulded in a different way than how we are being moulded up. So, I consider, this is what a generation gap is: a situation created by changing world.
I am the youngest son in my family and there are many restrictions for youngest sons in our society but unlike others’ parents, my parents are more flexible. They have faith in me that I won’t do anything bad and perhaps because of that, most of the time, they allow me to do stuff I like. To point out some incidences, I often go to watch late night shows with friends and at times, I return home late after hanging out with my buddies. During such times, my mom would not argue with me. We have a protocol that I should give my parents a call if I am returning home late than 7 in the evening; apart from that, they pretty much understand me and permit me.
Both parents, in my case, are equally strict and equally flexible. I want to keep long hairs but I get restriction from college and may be because of that my parents want me to cut hair and not keep it long. Talking about modern clothes, like extremely washed jeans, and others that so-called swags put on, I myself do not have interest.
To recall an incident when we had a clash regarding ideology, I can vividly remember the day when my parents forbade me to participate in basketball games as I was getting low grades in my study. I argued with them as I wanted them to know that grades only aren’t what define a good person; I wanted them to understand the importance of being well-rounded. Eventually, I had to withdraw from school’s basketball team and focus on study.
My dad lives in another country due to his work. So, my dad and mom have been using imo, skype and facebook since a very long time. Perhaps, because of this, my parents do not forbid me to use facebook as they know its positive aspects. Putting asides these positive aspects of my parents, there are things which I wish they were open-ended at, like considering sports and other extra-curricular activities as important as education.
Times International College, Grade 11
I believe that the distance which separates people born in different times from getting to know and understand each other completely is Generation Gap. Like, I am a girl of the era where wearing skirts, pants, and t-shirts is common. My mom grew up in her kurtha, sari, and gunew-cholo. When I was young, I often wore kurtha because my parents liked me in that outfit and didn’t want me to dress in so-called boys’ outfit. My father was more traditional and he wanted me to wear Kurtha at home, outings, and even at parties. But with time, I started wearing pants and t-shirts. Though they were not much welcoming then, now they do not complain considerably about my outfit.
Talking about going out with friends, my parents insist me to do so. I usually do not go out. Rather than asking me not to, they encourage me to go outings with friends. This is the part, where I am granted full freedom.
Dad is more restrictive than mom. My mom encouraged me to wear modern clothes and even bought me few but I was always afraid by that look in my father’s face. Until I was in grade seven, I always dressed in Kurtha Suruwal, but then I thought I should talk to dad about this and finally gathering enough courage I talked with my dad. Well, to me, this was the case when we had ideological clash. Though, he didn’t completely agree to my opinion, he didn’t insist me to wear Kurtha afterwards like he used to before.
Though my parents know that there are differences that set them and me apart, they try to be as closer as they can. They aren’t highly educated and lack sheer understanding of technology, but they are giving their best to act accordingly to fit well. If there is one thing I wish my parents were flexible at, then it would obviously be costumes.
Sanjog Karki wants to visit unexplored areas of Nepal and make documentaries about the lifestyle of people in that region. He wants to climb Mt. Everest once in his life. He believes in hard work not luck. He is anti-procrastinator. He has ability to easily win trust of other people. He aspires to become an Astronaut. His ultimate goal is not to die on Earth.
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